ALA encourages libraries to observe 2021 National Day of Racial Healing on Jan. 19

For Immediate Release
Fri, 01/08/2021


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) joins the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and organizations across the country in observing the 2021 National Day of Racial Healing. Read the proclamation by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, thousands will celebrate our common humanity and take collective action toward a more just and equitable world.

In commemoration, ALA invites library workers and others  to visit the National Day of Racial Healing website, especially the Library Action Kit, for ideas and ways to participate. While activities may look different in 2021 due to the pandemic, many of the tools and resources can be adapted as a virtual experience.

  • Find a virtual event or create a new event on the National Day of Racial Healing event calendar.
  • Offer reading recommendations about race and equality at your library or on your website. To start, visit ALA’s compilation of recommended reading lists on race and equality for all ages and reading levels.
  • Convene a virtual book discussion focused on themes of race, identity and healing or host a virtual Racial Healing Circle. Download free, ready-to-use discussion questions and other resources from ALA’s Great Stories Club themes on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. Find resources about hosting virtual book discussions and leading virtual conversations on ALA’s Programming Librarian website.
  • Expand on anti-racism work in your community by applying for a Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant from ALA. The $2,000 grant recognizes, promotes and supports innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. Each year, the grant focuses on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme. For the 2020–2021 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on anti-racism.
  • Take advantage of online resources to explore equity, diversity and inclusion in your own life and organization. Reflect about your own implicit biases using Project Implicit’s free Implicit Association Tests. Consider whether unintended racial prejudices are part of your organization with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race Matters: Organizational Self-Assessment.
  • Join the conversation on social media by letting us know how your library has implemented the recommendations above using the hashtags #LibrariesRespond or #HowWeHeal.

Conceived in 2016 through a collaborative effort of more than 550 U.S. leaders, the National Day of Racial Healing is a time to reinforce and honor our common humanity while celebrating the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant; acknowledge the deep racial divisions that exist in America and must be overcome and healed; and commit to engaging people from all racial and ethnic groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.

The celebration is a part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort, a national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

ALA is one of 100 voluntary National Partner Organizations in the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT efforts, along with 44 scholars, that participated in the 2016 TRHT design phase. More information is online at

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit